The World Health Organization (WHO) warned Europe, on Monday, that a rise in the daily number of deaths related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is expected in the next two months.
“It’s going to get tougher, as in October and November, we are going to see more mortalities,” WHO Europe director, Hans Kluge, told the AF news agency.
He added that the number of cases in Europe has risen sharply in recent weeks, particularly in France and Spain.
The international organisation announced that over 51,000 new cases were reported in the 55 countries monitored by WHO Europe on Friday, alone, which is more than the highest peak in April.
Although the continent is experiencing a surge in cases, the number of deaths has remained relatively stable although the resurgence is expected to lead to an increase in daily fatalities, the WHO explained.
“It’s a moment where countries don’t want to hear this bad news, and I understand,” Kluge said. He added, however, that he wanted to send a “positive message” that the pandemic “is going to finish, at one moment or another”.
The number of daily deaths has remained at around the same level since early June, with about 400-500 daily coronavirus-related deaths, WHO data shows. Kluge sounded a warning to those who believe that the development of a vaccine will bring an end to the pandemic.
“I hear all the time that the vaccine is going to be the end of the pandemic, which is untrue,” he said, “We don’t even know if the vaccine is going to help all population groups. We are getting some signs now that it will help for one group and not for the others.”
Kluge highlighted the commensurate logistical nightmare of ordering different vaccines for different parts of the world.
“The end of the pandemic is the moment that we as a community are going to learn how to live with this pandemic,” he noted, “It depends on us, and that’s a very positive message.”
Meanwhile, WHO Europe’s 55 member states are holding an online meeting, on Monday and Tuesday, to discuss their response to the global pandemic. They will also agree on their overall five-year strategy to deal with the repercussions.